Saturday night was the first night at the marae. I don’t think any of us really knew what to expect.
We arrived to Jodi Todd greeting us and the Bay of Plenty girls. Jodi explained the main rules of the Marae, she told us we couldn’t wear our shoes inside the Marae or eat and above all else we had to respect.
We unpacked our bus and got our first look at where we were sleeping. 31 girls from WRAS and BOP had to sleep side by side on single mattresses with a small spot at the end of the beds for our suitcases. We were meant to be welcomed on to the Marae by the elders in a traditional welcoming ceremony but they had to leave early so we missed out. We spent the rest of the night playing cards and talking with the Bay girls, getting to know each other as we were going to be spending the next week living together.
I was very tired from the flight over and travelling many of us were also nervous about our next day, our first training day. We were showered and in bed by 9pm.